Police bust biggest Dutch cocaine lab, arrest 17 suspects

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch police have dismantled what they describe as the biggest cocaine laboratory ever discovered in the Netherlands — hidden at a former horse riding school — and arrested a total of 17 people from Colombia, Turkey and the Netherlands.

Police said in a statement yesterday they discovered tens of thousands of litres of chemicals and 100 kilogrammes of crack cocaine when they raided the riding school last Friday.

They also found sleeping quarters for staff in the building in Nijeveen, 120 kilometres northeast of Amsterdam.

Chief Inspector André van Rijn at the police organisation that dismantles such production facilities said the lab was equipped to produce 150-200 kilogrammes of cocaine a day, with a street value of EUR4.5-8 million.

Police video showed equipment and supplies including plastic barrels and vats of chemicals and a row of five red cement mixers that were used to extract cocaine from products like clothing that are impregnated with the drug before being exported to the Netherlands.